Call me, but don’t leave a message

The other day I called a friend of mine only to be left with this message:

“Thanks for your call but do NOT leave a voicemail. You can e-mail or text me. No voicemail.”

Interesting. And, let’s face it, exactly how a lot of us feel. (There’s even a Facebook page devoted to this.)

I hatehatehate voicemails. In fact, I used to joke at work that whenever I’d see the red light on my phone indicating I had a voicemail, it would put me into a bad mood.

Maybe it’s because people tend to leave such useless voicemail messages. Like when people say, “Call me back,” but don’t tell you why or what they need. (I hate that.)

But it’s also because there are more efficient ways of communicating with people these days that don’t require me to listen to a long, drawn-out message that could have been more effectively communicated in a text or e-mail.

In fact, most of my friends now Facebook or Twitter me — much more effective than leaving voicemails.

And telecommunication companies are picking up on this trend, offering new services such as visual voicemail or an app that transcribes voicemail message into texts.

A survey done by Sprint found that people younger than 65 responded much faster to a text than a voicemail. Another tech design firm found that 30 percent of messages can linger for three or more days before being retrieved and — worse yet — about 20 percent of people check their voicemail box once a month. If that.

So I got curious: how many of you loathe voicemail messages and prefer texts, e-mails or some other form of communication? And why? What is it about voicemail that makes us cringe?


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